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Some Like It Hot: An Offseason Guide to Local Hot Springs

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019 at 12:24pm Engel & Völkers Aspen • Snowmass • Roaring Fork

Off season in Aspen can be a guessing game when it comes to the weather. It might be sunny and in the seventies one day with the promise of green grass and budding flowers, only to obliterated by a blizzard the next day. It’s a common dilemma for locals to eagerly unpack their summer wardrobe only to have to unearth that down coat and wool hat out for one more day, again.
The good news is there is one place that, rain or shine, warm or cold, will always feel like a day at the beach. It just so happens there are several natural hot springs within an hour’s drive of Aspen that make a day lounging by the pool entirely possible—no matter what the weatherman says.
Here’s our guide to a few hot spots that will tide you over until summer:
For a spring break vibe: Iron Mountain Hot Springs
Located in nearby Glenwood Springs, the newly renovated Iron Mountain Hot Springs is not to be confused with the more commonly known Glenwood Hot Springs pool that can be seen from the highway. Completed in 2015, this new facility features 16 soaking pools ranging from 98 to 108 degrees, overlooking the Colorado River. There’s also a fresh water pool and whirlpool that’s heated to 94 degrees with a geothermal exchange for cooling off and for families (kids under 5 are not allowed in the soaking pools).  The best part? Sopris Café, a full service bar and restaurant dishes up pizzas, wraps, and smoothies as well as beer, wine, and premixed cocktails. A surround sound music system evokes a party vibe, especially in the late afternoon and early evening when the atmosphere shifts from family fun to cocktail hour by the pool. The bath house offers locker rooms with yummy-smelling private label shampoo, conditioner and shower gel so you leave feeling relaxed, refreshed, and clean—unlike many of Colorado’s Sulphur hot springs that, (let’s be honest) smell a little like rotten eggs.
For a hippie dip: Penny Hot Springs
At the Carbondale turnoff, head up Highway 133 through the majestic Crystal River Valley to the Penny Hot Springs. These natural hot springs pool are just off the side of the road 14.1 miles from Carbondale on the east side of the highway, a few hundred feet north of mile marker 55. These primitive hot springs are fed by a natural hot mineral spring along the banks of the Crystal River, sectioned off by rocks that keep the cold water from coming in. There are no facilities and the hot springs are as natural as they are free of charge but can get crowded on the weekends. But on a week day, or better yet a full moon weeknight, it’s a wonderful place to soak and soak in the views.
For a true escape: Avalanche Ranch Hot Springs
The rustic mountain vibe at Avalanche Ranch Hot Springs, located south of Carbondale on Highway 133 begins to seep in as soon as you pull in and walk past the sheep and the tree swing to check in at the quaint boutique. Designed to blend into the natural landscape and rock formations of the dramatic Crystal River Valley, three natural hot springs pools situated on a tiered layout finished with flagstone patios invite the outside in. Overlooking the Crystal River in the shadows of Mt Sopris, it’s probably one of the most scenic hot springs in the state. Even better, reservations are required, and attendance is limited so it’s never too crowded and always as peaceful as it is beautiful. Amenities are limited to bathrooms and showers so BYOB, (as long as it’s in cans, not bottles) and be sure to call in advance to book your spot. Massage, yoga, and cabins also available for a true wellness getaway.




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